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MICROSOFT's  WINDOWS 10 'HEAVY-HANDED' FREE UPGRADE 'PUSH' COMES AS IRKY 'SHOVE' FOR SOME USERS


MAY 26 -In this April 29, 2015, file photo, a Dell laptop computer running Windows 10 is on display at the Microsoft Build conference in San Francisco. In a statement issued to the BBC on May 24, 2016, Microsoft denied claims that it was forcing users of older Windows versions to upgrade to Windows 10. AP FILE PHOTO
Microsoft really, REALLY wants you to upgrade to Windows 10. Since last summer, the tech giant has pushed and prodded PC owners to upgrade their machines to its latest Windows version. While the upgrade is currently free for most consumers with Windows PCs, critics say the company’s heavy-handed nudging amounts to an “offer you can’t refuse.” Microsoft initially offered Windows 10 as an optional upgrade — that is, one that users had to choose themselves. Then, earlier this year, the company reclassified it as a “recommended” update. Some Windows 10 holdouts cried foul, since many PCs are set up to automatically install recommended updates, which are usually important security fixes. Suddenly those machines would automatically install Windows 10 as well.
At one point, some PC owners complained, Microsoft began sending on-screen messages prompting them to download and install Windows 10. The catch: Where most such pop-up windows have buttons marked “OK” and “Cancel,” this message displayed two buttons that both led to an upgrade (“Upgrade Now” and “Upgrade Tonight”). To avoid the upgrade, diehard resisters had to click a red “X” in the upper-right corner that closed the window. READ MORE...

ALSO: How Microsoft's tricky new Windows 10 pop-up deceives you into upgrading
[Microsoft's new trick to coax users into upgrading to Windows 10 relies on changing behaviors the pop-up's instilled since December.]


MAY 22 -new windows 10 logo primary. Credit: Rob Schultz This morning, the unthinkable happened: My wife, an avowed PC user who long ago swore to never touch an Apple device, started shopping around for a Mac Mini. And it’s all thanks to Windows 10. Or rather, the nasty new way that Microsoft’s tricking Windows 7 and 8 users into automatically updating to Windows 10. I adore Windows 10, but I’ve long been a vocal critic of the heavy-handed tactics that Microsoft’s been using to force people into the upgrade, all to hit a goal of migrating 1 billion users to an operating system brimming with freemium services and ads. The annoying “Get Windows 10” pop-up began using deceiving malware-like tactics months ago, but it recently received an overhaul that seems purposefully designed to confuse users who have been wearily slogging through the nagging for half a year now.
That nasty trick resulted in my wife’s beloved Windows 7 PC being sneakily upgraded to Windows 10 this morning. Sure, she has 30 days to roll it back to Windows 7, but she feels so betrayed—like Microsoft forcibly removed her control over her own PC—that she’s strongly considering embracing the Dark Side and buying a Mac, instead. Even worse, the process can kick off automatically if you don’t touch a thing on your computer. READ MORE...

ALSO: 10 Surprising Reasons Why You Will Like Windows 10


FEBRUARY 8, 2017 -Windows 10 isn’t perfect, especially in the Home edition, and it’s almost cool to hate on Windows 10 these days. But if those issues cause you to overlook the many lovable aspects of Windows 10 that could be making your life easier, then you may just be shooting yourself in the foot. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Windows 10 is going to be the very last version of the operating system and Windows 7 support will eventually be discontinued, so unless you plan on switching to OS X or Linux, you’ll have to upgrade sooner or later. (Microsoft will make sure of that.) And as it turns out, most people actually love Windows 10. Over 60 percent say that their satisfaction is “favorable” or “very favorable”, while only 10 percent are in the “unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” camp. So let’s take a look at what Windows 10 does well. READ ON...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Microsoft’s Windows 10 'heavy-handed' free upgrade 'push' comes to 'shove' for some users


In this April 29, 2015, file photo, a Dell laptop computer running Windows 10 is on display at the Microsoft Build conference in San Francisco. In a statement issued to the BBC on May 24, 2016, Microsoft denied claims that it was forcing users of older Windows versions to upgrade to Windows 10. AP FILE PHOTO

SAN FRANCISCO, MAY 30, 2016 (INQUIRER) @inquirerdotnet Associated Press 10:07 AM May 26th, 2016 - Microsoft really, REALLY wants you to upgrade to Windows 10. Since last summer, the tech giant has pushed and prodded PC owners to upgrade their machines to its latest Windows version.

While the upgrade is currently free for most consumers with Windows PCs, critics say the company’s heavy-handed nudging amounts to an “offer you can’t refuse.”

Microsoft initially offered Windows 10 as an optional upgrade — that is, one that users had to choose themselves. Then, earlier this year, the company reclassified it as a “recommended” update. Some Windows 10 holdouts cried foul, since many PCs are set up to automatically install recommended updates, which are usually important security fixes. Suddenly those machines would automatically install Windows 10 as well.

At one point, some PC owners complained, Microsoft began sending on-screen messages prompting them to download and install Windows 10. The catch: Where most such pop-up windows have buttons marked “OK” and “Cancel,” this message displayed two buttons that both led to an upgrade (“Upgrade Now” and “Upgrade Tonight”). To avoid the upgrade, diehard resisters had to click a red “X” in the upper-right corner that closed the window.

READ MORE...

Microsoft then revised the notifications, citing customer feedback. A new version tells PC owners they are scheduled for a “recommended” upgrade to Windows 10 at a specific time in the near future, and bears a prominent “OK” button.

To reject or reschedule the change, users have to find and click a less conspicuous link in small type. But clicking the “X” no longer blocks the upgrade.

Some PC users reacted as though Microsoft had left a horse’s head in their bed.

“Deceptive” and “a nasty trick” is how Brad Chacos, an editor at PCWorld, put it in a column after his wife unwittingly clicked the “X” and later found her machine was no longer running Windows 7, which she had wanted to keep.

“Deploying these dirty tricks only frustrates long-time Windows users who have very valid reasons to stick with operating systems they already know and love,” wrote Chacos, who added that he uses and likes Windows 10 personally. His wife, though, is now shopping for a Mac.


Microsoft accused of Windows 10 upgrade "nasty trick" (NASDAQ:MSFT) continued to struggle as the Windows 10 Mobile failed to entice enough users and for the first time in the company's history, Windows Phone market share fell to less than 1 percent. Tina RayMay 26, 2016 HQCOMOXVALLEY.COM

Microsoft says it isn’t trying to be sneaky.

In blog posts and official statements, the company says it shows users at least two notifications before it activates Windows 10.

It also allows any PC owner to reverse the installation and go back to their old software if they do so within 31 days.

“We understand you care deeply about what happens with your device. This is why – regardless of your upgrade path – you can choose to upgrade or decline the offer,” Microsoft executive vice president Terry Myerson wrote in a blog post .

Even so, Microsoft clearly wants to get as many PCs and other devices running Windows 10 as it possibly can. The company says it wants users to have the latest security features and other improvements. Microsoft also makes more money from Windows 10 features that increase usage of Bing, the company’s ad-supported search engine. And it wants to convince programmers there’s a big audience for software apps that are compatible with Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets.

Microsoft announced earlier this month that 300 million devices are running Windows 10 — a faster adoption rate than either of the two previous Windows versions.

Most buyers of new PCs will find Windows 10 already installed. But Microsoft says its offer of a free upgrade for old machines is ending July 29 — and that means more notices and prompts are likely.

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PC WORLD

How Microsoft's tricky new Windows 10 pop-up deceives you into upgrading
[Microsoft's new trick to coax users into upgrading to Windows 10 relies on changing behaviors the pop-up's instilled since December.]  Brad Chacos | @BradChacos Senior Editor, PCWorld May 22, 2016 9:20 AM


new windows 10 logo primary. Credit: Rob Schultz


By Brad Chacos,Senior Editor, PCWorld. Brad Chacos spends the days jamming to Spotify and digging through desktop PCs. He covers the gaming, graphics cards, and how-to beats for PCWorld, and spends his mornings running the news desk for PCWorld, Macworld, Greenbot, and TechHive.

This morning, the unthinkable happened: My wife, an avowed PC user who long ago swore to never touch an Apple device, started shopping around for a Mac Mini. And it’s all thanks to Windows 10. Or rather, the nasty new way that Microsoft’s tricking Windows 7 and 8 users into automatically updating to Windows 10.

I adore Windows 10, but I’ve long been a vocal critic of the heavy-handed tactics that Microsoft’s been using to force people into the upgrade, all to hit a goal of migrating 1 billion users to an operating system brimming with freemium services and ads. The annoying “Get Windows 10” pop-up began using deceiving malware-like tactics months ago, but it recently received an overhaul that seems purposefully designed to confuse users who have been wearily slogging through the nagging for half a year now.

That nasty trick resulted in my wife’s beloved Windows 7 PC being sneakily upgraded to Windows 10 this morning. Sure, she has 30 days to roll it back to Windows 7, but she feels so betrayed—like Microsoft forcibly removed her control over her own PC—that she’s strongly considering embracing the Dark Side and buying a Mac, instead.

Even worse, the process can kick off automatically if you don’t touch a thing on your computer.

READ MORE...

UPDATE: Further reading: How to escape the Windows 10 update you mistakenly agreed to and How to go back to Windows 7 or 8 after an unwanted Windows 10 upgrade

The change
In December, the Get Windows 10 (GWX) pop-up changed its verbiage in a way that mimicked malware: The only immediate options were to “Upgrade Now” or “Start download, upgrade later.” An offer you can’t refuse! The wording changed slightly since then, but the only way to decline the upgrade has been the same: By clicking the X button in the GWX pop-up’s right-hand corner and closing the window.


Brad Chacos ✔ ‎@BradChacos

On a Windows 8.1 PC. Mostly full screen pop-up. No clear "No thanks" button, just download Windows 10 now or later.
8:17 PM - 10 Dec 2015

Earlier this year, however, Microsoft pushed the Windows 10 download out as a Recommended update. That means anybody using the default Windows Update setting—as you should be!—automatically received the installation bits and a prompt to install the new OS, which again could only be refused by exiting via the X in the corner of the pop-up’s window.

Last week, Microsoft altered the GWX prompt, as ZDNet covered. On the surface, it’s an improvement; the box clearly states when your PC will be upgraded, and even adds a (still small and easily skippable) line that allows you to reschedule or change the upgrade timing. So far so good!



But here’s the icky part: The redesigned GWX pop-up now treats exiting the window as consent for the Windows 10 upgrade.

So after more than half a year of teaching people that the only way to say “no thanks” to Windows 10 is to exit the GWX application—and refusing to allow users to disable the pop-up in any obvious manner, so they had to press that X over and over again during those six months to the point that most people probably just click it without reading now—Microsoft just made it so that very behavior accepts the Windows 10 upgrade instead, rather than canceling it.

That’s gross.

And if you don’t find that small link to reschedule or cancel the Windows 10 upgrade—or, say, if the pop up appears while you’re away from your computer—your system will automatically begin the process at the scheduled time. In other words, your PC can potentially upgrade to Windows 10 without you asking it to or explicitly approving the upgrade.

That’s gross, too.

Fallout and prevention

PC users are already up in arms over it, and rightfully so. By now, every existing Windows 7 and 8 user has seen and declined the Windows 10 update numerous times. By forcing out Windows 10 as a Recommended update and changing the behavior associated with exiting the GWX pop-up, Microsoft’s actively striving to push the operating system on people who actively don’t want it.

Worse, these under-handed tactics are encouraging Windows 7 and 8 users to disable Windows Updates all together, which leaves their systems more vulnerable to attackers who exploit security flaws.

That certainly stops Microsoft’s nagging, deceptive pop-ups, but I’d recommend installing the free GWX Control Panel tool instead. It lets you remove and disable the upgrade prompts all together—though it’s a shame that you have to resort to third-party tools to keep your operating system from hijacking itself. Update: Several users have also written me to suggest Never10 by famed security researcher Steve Gibson as an easier to use GWX Control Panel alternative.

Again: I personally use and love Windows 10. It’s great! But deploying these dirty tricks only frustrates long-time Windows users who have very valid reasons to stick with operating systems they already know and love. And thanks to the deceitful new update, there’s a very high chance that my wife will be a new OS X convert by the end of the day. You may have ostensibly achieved another Windows 10 upgrade to pad your adoption stats, Microsoft, but you very well may have lost a lifelong PC user who swore she’d never switch to Apple.

Which means that I might have to learn how to troubleshoot Macs.

Dammit, Microsoft.


UNBLOGGED

10 Surprising Reasons Why You Will Like Windows 10 Written by Joel Lee February 8, 2016


By Joel Lee -- Joel Lee is the Tech Explained editor at MakeUseOf and a jack-of-all-trades technology writer from Philadelphia. In his free time he dabbles in fiction, photography, and game development.

Windows 10 isn’t perfect, especially in the Home edition, and it’s almost cool to hate on Windows 10 these days. But if those issues cause you to overlook the many lovable aspects of Windows 10 that could be making your life easier, then you may just be shooting yourself in the foot.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Windows 10 is going to be the very last version of the operating system and Windows 7 support will eventually be discontinued, so unless you plan on switching to OS X or Linux, you’ll have to upgrade sooner or later. (Microsoft will make sure of that.)

And as it turns out, most people actually love Windows 10.

Over 60 percent say that their satisfaction is “favorable” or “very favorable”, while only 10 percent are in the “unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” camp. So let’s take a look at what Windows 10 does well.

READ ON...

1. Cast to Device

One of the least-known, yet coolest features in Windows 10 is the ability to stream media directly to another device by “casting” it over a wireless connection. Any device that supports the DLNA protocol can receive the cast, including smart TVs, PS3/PS3, and Xbox 360/One.

Casting is really easy. Open File Explorer and browse to any media file (e.g. MP3, MP4, AVI, MKV, etc), right-click on the file, open the Cast to Device submenu, and select the receiving device. The device must be on the same network as your Windows 10 machine. No third-party hardware or software necessary.

What’s even nicer is that you can select multiple files to cast, which creates a playlist. Feel free to add to, remove from, or even rearrange the playlist to your liking. You can also cast directly from Microsoft Edge if you have the November Update.

2. Battery Saver

A significant chunk of Windows 10 users are on laptops and tablets, which means battery life has never been as big a concern for Microsoft as it is now. Fortunately, Windows 10 makes life easier for portable users with its Battery Saver feature.

In a nutshell, Battery Saver keeps some of the more resource-intensive background processes in Windows from operating at full power. It’s not a flawless solution, of course, but it’s surprisingly good and most users are happy with it, especially because you can control which apps are included or excluded.

And this is on top of the usual ways to improve battery life in Windows, so if your device already lasts a long time between charges, Battery Saver will bump it up even more.

3. Continuum

Windows 10 is designed to be a one-size-fits-all operating system for desktops, laptops, and tablets. This would normally spell disaster due to the massive differences in how each of those devices are used, but Microsoft managed to bridge the gap with its Continuum feature.

 VIDEO: HOW CORTANA COMES TO LIFE IN WINDOWS 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s how it works: when a tablet has its external keyboard disconnected, Continuum will detect the change and switch to Tablet Mode for its interface. When the keyboard is plugged back in, it changes back to Desktop Mode. The transition back and forth is seamless and easy.

Continuum was always nice, but became really important after Microsoft debuted its Surface Book laptop that can disconnect and become a Surface Pro tablet at will.

4. Multiple Desktops

Virtual desktops have long been a key feature for productivity freaks and it’s unfortunate that Microsoft was so slow to join in on all the fun. The good news is that Windows 10 now officially supports virtual desktops with its Task View feature.

You can access Task View by using the Win+Tab keyboard shortcut, which shows all currently active windows. At the bottom right, you can click on New Desktop to create a new virtual desktop. Desktops are shown along the bottom in Task View and you can hover over a desktop to see its active windows.

You can also move windows between desktops by right-clicking on them. The taskbar stays the same between desktops, but the indicator for active windows is more subtle for windows that are open in another desktop. (Note that while this feature is awesome, the jury is out on whether multi-tasking is actually productive.)

5. Snap Assist

Snap Assist is a simple and easy-to-underestimate feature that might seem inconsequential in the big picture, but in terms of everyday usability, it makes Windows 10 much more convenient. In fact, for some people, it’s one of the more compelling reasons to get Windows 10 at all.


In Windows 10, Microsoft has improved the snap feature to include more options. You can now snap windows so they take up the full half or just a quarter of the screen, and a handy little Snap Assist tool lets you snap windows even more quickly than before. COURTESY OF CNET.COM

Window snapping has been around since Vista days, but Windows 10 really beefs it up to the next level. Not only can you snap to the left and right in half-screen widths, but you can snap to any of the four quadrants. And if two windows are snapped together, resizing one will simultaneously resize the other.

6. Inactive Window Scrolling

Windows 10 has a tiny little feature that’s tucked away so well that most people aren’t even aware it exists: the ability to scroll windows even if those windows aren’t in focus.

It’s actually on by default, but if it’s not working for you, make sure it’s enabled by going to Settings > Devices > Mouse & touchpad and toggling the option labelled Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them.

How is this feature useful?

Well, if you have a large monitor over 30 inches or you’re using a multiple monitor setup, then this lets you browse a website, spreadsheet, etc. on one side while typing into a different application on the other. It may not be so useful if you have a small laptop, for example, and every window is always maximized.

7. Quick Access

One easy but effective way to customize and make Windows 10 more productive is to make extensive use of the Quick Access feature in File Explorer. It’s similar to Favorites in previous versions of Windows, yet more dynamic and more powerful.

When Windows 10 detects that you access certain folders more often than others, it will automatically pin that folder to Quick Access. The more often you use a folder, the higher it rises in the Quick Access hierarchy, and the less you use it, the lower it falls.

Or you can do it all manually, adding and removing folders by right-clicking on them and selecting Pin to Quick Access. Use the pins in File Explorer to keep them from shuffling around. You can also tweak Quick Access even further to make it suit your needs.

8. Improved Command Prompt

If you use the Command Prompt a lot, then you’ll love the new features in Windows 10, many of which have been a long time coming. It may not be as advanced as PowerShell or Linux’s Bash terminal, but the Command Prompt improvements in Windows 10 are a big step up.

Notable features include tab cycling for auto-completion, transparent window background, dragging and dropping files and folders right into the command line, copying and pasting text right into the window, and toggling into a true fullscreen mode.

Never used the Command Prompt before? Get started with these easy commands for common tasks.

9. Action Center

One of the best features in Windows 10 is the new Action Center, which is like a dashboard for notifications, messages, and shortcuts for common actions. It slides in from the right and helps you stay organized as far as warnings and updates are concerned.

Accessing the Action Center is as easy as hitting the Win+A keyboard shortcut, and notable action shortcuts include Settings, Network, Quiet Hours, as well as toggles for Airplane Mode (useful for laptops) and Desktop/Tablet Mode (useful for tablets).

Depending on your system you may see other actions, like a Note shortcut for OneNote users. If you really don’t like the Action Center, you can always disable it by tweaking the Windows Registry.

10. Help System
 



The last thing we want to mention is the help that’s available in Windows 10 with the Cortana feature, (Watch video above) which is surprisingly good when you know how to use it. She’s not just a gimmick, she’s a virtual assistant, and she’ll lend you aid as long as you ask for it.

To activate Cortana, you can either click the microphone icon in the taskbar or simply say, “Hey Cortana” (though this requires that you enable a particular setting). Once she’s listening, just ask her whatever you need and she’ll do her best to offer relevant results. She’s not perfect, but definitely worth using.

Several other ways to get Windows 10 help also exist, such as the Contact Support app that connects you to a Microsoft Answer Tech. But we recommend learning how to use Cortana and getting comfortable with her because she’ll come in handy more often than you expect.

Windows 10: Is It Good Enough?

Again, we’re not trying to turn a blind eye to the flaws in Windows 10.

We know they’re there. For example, the entire Forced Updates fiasco may be a big enough issue that you consider it a permanent dealbreaker. But we think Windows 10 has enough going for it that a black-and-white decision isn’t possible.

If you do decide to upgrade to Windows 10, just know that there are a few things you should keep in mind, such as the various reset/refresh options, the changes to system maintenance, and the numerous settings that you may want to tweak.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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